No, it's not some strange way to make Mango with Sticky Rice. As my aunt explained, it's an ages-old technique to speed up the ripening process! Whenever she has green mangoes, she buries them in the rice bin (not on top as in the photo above) and within a day or two they're ready to eat.
We can only guess that burying the mango in rice concentrates its ethylene gas, a natural plant hormone that causes fruit to turn softer and sweeter. It's similar to putting fruit in a paper bag to accelerate ripening. Whether one method is better than the other, we aren't sure.
How do you ripen mangoes or other fruit?
(Image: Emily Ho)